Alpha/Bravo project is located immediately south of and adjacent to Metal Energy's Source Rock Lithium Brine Project

Canadian lithium explorer Newpath Resources Inc. (CSE: PATH; FSE:0MZ; OTC PINK: RDYFF) sees its positive assessment of its own Alpha/Bravo project confirmed by the recent discovery at the neighbouring Source Rock Lithium Brine Project of Metal Energy Corp. (TSXV: MERG) (see Fig. 1), as the brine-bearing layers (Pass Lake Member) identified at Source Rock Lithium also continue at Alpha/Bravo. Historical interpretations of existing electromagnetic surveys indicate, according to geologists, that Alpha/Bravo covers a significant portion of the potential “brine field” and shares this anomaly with neighbouring properties. During the 2023 field season, Newpath conducted exploration for lithium-bearing pegmatites to the south and west of the Sibley sediment cover.

Newpath’s Alpha/Bravo project is located immediately south of and adjacent to Metal Energy’s Source Rock Lithium Brine Project (see map below). Historical drilling on both projects has shown clear evidence of distinct evaporite layers (salt, gypsum) in the basal Pass Lake Member of the Proterozoic Sibley Group, often associated with higher clay content. In addition, another interval of saline, brine-bearing “sandstone” has been identified further up in the Sibley Group. 

Geological reconstructions suggest that the host rocks are derived from the erosion of pre-existing rocks to the north, east and west, geological terranes known to host lithium deposits in granitic LCT pegmatites. As suspected in several lithium-producing regions of the world, they may owe their lithium deposits to the movement of hydrothermal waters that leach alkali metals into solution and then become trapped in the adjacent sedimentary basins.

Both the Pass Lake Member layer and another interval of saline, brine-bearing “sandstone” further up in the Sibley Group have been identified in airborne and ground-based electromagnetic surveys, albeit mostly after the fact, and have never been specifically investigated. The formation waters have also not been analysed to date and the cored Pass Lake rocks have been incompletely sampled or not sampled at all. Based on limited, scattered historical drilling at Alpha/Bravo, the depth from surface to the Pass Lake layer is up to 325 metres. Lake sediment samples in this area show conspicuous lithium anomalies, the cause of which is unknown.

Figure 1: Metal Energy and Newpath are direct neighbours and share the same geological strata with the same brine field.

Mineral exploration in this part of Ontario dates back to the late 19th century when silver was discovered in veins along the shores and on islands of Lake Superior. Next came amethyst, now the official gemstone of the province of Ontario, found in veins along with smaller amounts of lead, silver and, more rarely, uranium mineralization. Amethyst mining continues in the region and new deposits are still being discovered, including at Alpha/Bravo. Geological studies published in 1931 defined the Sibley Group, recognized its characteristic mineralization and noted the numerous salt licks and saline springs in the region.

Several waves of uranium exploration from the 1970s to the mid-2000s focused on Alpha/Bravo and the neighboring claims. This was driven by geological similarities between the Proterozoic geology of the Sibley Group/Silver Islet area and the Athabasca Group/Uranium City and Hornby Group/Port Radium regions, as well as other prolific belts in Africa, Australia and Asia. Historic exploration used methods and techniques that were developed in the Athabasca Basin and are still standard today: detailed electromagnetic and magnetic surveys, sensitive gravity surveys, and survey-guided or directional core drilling. Although uranium mineralization was encountered in the underlying Quetico, nothing of major economic interest was found. Interest in exploration waned and the money disappeared.

However, drilling geologists noted that certain sections of drill core tasted salty, and it was surmised that the Sibley Basin contained saline brines and possibly preserved salt and gypsum layers. Subsequently, the team reviewed the electromagnetic surveys and found that there were conductive areas that were best explained by layers of intraformational brines that had been preserved undisturbed for over a billion years.

Newpath is closely monitoring further developments, including brine potential, but also uranium, given the current resurgence of interest in safe uranium sources accompanied by rising uranium spot prices.

Newpath’s Alpha/Bravo project covers 640 square kilometres of prime exploration ground north of Lake Superior, 45 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The property is traversed by power transmission lines, a natural gas pipeline and a network of logging roads accessible by a four-lane divided highway to the south and a paved highway to the west.

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